The AJAX Parkridge golf cart is a rare find indeed. If you don’t value your time and spend weekends driving from garage sale to garage sale, you may just be rewarded with a low-cost (or no-cost) option that is a combination golf bag and golf cart all in one. Oh yes…with a dedicated slot for each club, a pouch for your gutta-perchas, a slot for your scorecard, and solid tires, the AJAX Parkridge is well ahead of its time.
It’s a durable cart that, for some, can provide a very appealing value. Indeed, this may be the last cart you ever need to purchase. For us, however, the lack of reasonable amounts of storage space, poor on-course handling, and dated styling combine to drop the Parkridge to the bottom of our rankings. Maybe the AJAX Parkridge is for you, but it’s just not for us (if it is for you, please contact us to arrange a transaction – we’re willing to deal!).
Retail price: negotiated at garage sale
- It was cheap!
- Combination of cart and bag
- Includes a seat if you get weary on the course
- Creaky handling
- No brakes
- Apparently they don’t make it anymore
At a svelte 15 pounds, the Parkridge competes with even the lightest bag and cart combinations on the market. It’s trademarked handle design and lightweight wheel rims keep the weight down and the pleasure up. Additional weight from nesting spiders add little to the overall (see images under ‘On Course Impressions’, below), and do not create rolling resistance or cause any out-of-balance issues when pulling. Handling issues are native to the cart itself.
The AJAX Parkridge doesn’t fold into as small a package as some of the competition (unfolded measures 19″d x 19.5″w x 46.5″h, and collapses to a height of 31.5″), but given that it is a bag as well, the Parkridge can easily be slipped, clubs and all, into the trunk of your Thunderbird. Due to rough external bolts on the cart, we do not recommend transporting the Parkridge on your supple leather seats.
EASE OF SET-UP
The AJAX Parkridge is the most simple of all carts to set up, taking a mere three steps. Players need only pull the foldable handle in place and swivel two rusted clamps into position to lock down the handle. If desired, its just one more quick pull to get the seat to slide away from the cart so you can take a load off during play. Folding the cart for transportation is as easy as unfolding (for some reason there isn’t a clamp to lock down the handle when folded, but hey, that saves a step!). Exceptional!
ON COURSE IMPRESSIONS
We found the AJAX Parkridge to be lacking on the course – the handling isn’t as tight as competitive carts, and there is no ability to make adjustments to suit a particular player.
- The tires are solid (hey, no flats!) and will stand the test of time while not creating any burdensome resistance. As there are two wheels (with support for the seat at the front of the cart), the cart will be better off being pulled than pushed.
- The handle unfortunately cannot be adjusted, but rather abides by the “one-size-fits-all” motto. The long arms that make up the handle flex more than we wanted, and the handle is not integrated into the body of the cart well enough to provide any more than mediocre handling at best. The top of the handle does have a rubber “grip” to provide a soft surface from which to pull the cart.
- The narrow wheelbase creates a less stable cart on hills, so keep this in mind when tackling the steepest slopes.
- The rims use heavy-duty nuts and bolts to hold the tires in place. Much better than some of the competition’s cheap plastic pieces.
This cart came with clubs included for us (an even rarer find), and we quickly found that the balance of the cart requires that irons be put heads-down into each of the slots. If you choose to go clubheads up, as in standard bags, you are guaranteed to spend a lot of time picking your clubs up off the course when the Parkridge tips over.
Lastly, the stitching tolerances are not as tight as they should be, and the result is some of the irons are too large to fit into the clubhead slots. Trial and error will allow you to remember what best fits where. Oh, and given that the irons go in heads-down, you will want to put big stickers on the butt of your irons with the club number on each (see image at right).
The storage and accessories available on the AJAX Parkridge include:
- An extendable seat to take a break while on course. The seat can be left in the down position for the duration of the round, if desired, and will not interfere with the use of the cart during play. The seat may not accommodate the most “healthy” of Americans.
- One zippered pocket to store balls and Reddy Tees. As the seat is located on the front of the bag and pivots away from the bag at the level of the pocket, access to the front pocket is far more limited compared to standard golf cart/bag configurations. The pocket zipper on occasions get snagged against the pleather, but for the most part it does not require attention.
- A perforated slot for your scorecard (we are assuming the perforation is to save valuable ounces)
- 10 slots, for irons and a putter.
- 4 dedicated tubes to handle woods or irons; by pushing their shafts into the frame of the bag, you can get each shaft to be held snugly in place by a plastic clip.
- At the back of the cart is a pocket that can carry other (relatively flat) belongings. If you flatten things a bit, you will be able to fit a jacket and a sandwich.
We are disappointed that the Parkridge lacks some of the features that are common in the competition, including brakes (though with only two wheels, they aren’t needed), water bottle holder, umbrella stand, and easily accessible handle-mounted storage space.
While your grandparents may find the AJAX Parkridge appealing, we found the overall design and light-pea green pleather combined with white stitching to look like something out of the 50s. It is unclear if the cart comes in alternate colors.
The upside is, however, you are sure to be the talk of the clubhouse.
The price of the AJAX Parkridge ranges from $0 to whatever your local garage sale commands.
If cost is your only concern, assuming you can find one of these beauties, the Parkridge is a great alternative. Players that value usability and style, however, will likely want to look elsewhere.